This morning I received a message from a friend from the other side of the world. He wanted me to know that the doctors had told him that he likely only had a few days left and he wanted to thank me for my friendship across the years we'd known each other.
He was saying goodbye. Forever.
We went to high school together - the only friend I have left from those days. Smarter, more athletic and naturally talented, passionate and driven than I ever was, his presence in my life pushed me to do better. A year older than me, at 45 years old he will leave behind a wife and three children under the age of ten.
This morning, before I'd even read his message I knew what he had sent me was bad news - but it's still sinking in that my oldest friend, this good and decent person, will be taken from the world so young and early in his life and leave behind family and friends that will miss him terribly.
I suspect he knew all along what his real chances were - he just wanted to make sure that everyone in his life stayed positive over the last six month.
I wanted to share this not to have you worry about death, but rather to focus on the importance of how you spend the time in your life. All too often we can become caught up in worrying about trivial matters, materialistic endeavors and our own self-importance.
I see so many people wasting their time and energy worrying about things that they believe to be important at the time. But if you came to the realisation that in six months time the end was a possibility, what would truly be important to you?
And now that you've thought about what's important if you were to face your mortality in the near future, should what's truly important really be any different if the timeframe were longer? 12 months. 24 months. 5 years 10 years. 20 years. 30 years.
Why would what is truly important in your life change simply because you knew the end was near? Shouldn't they always be the most important things in you life, no matter what?
Family, friends, relationships, helping others, making the world a better place. Let others judge you by what you do and how you do it rather than what you say and who you impress. Live a life that is on your own terms rather than how the world tells you things should be.
Stop worrying about the future so much and enjoy what you have in the here and now. So when your time does come, no matter when it may be, you can know that you didn't waste a second of the time granted to you and you can be at peace with how you lived your life.